What to Watch For: Dover

May 12, 2011
by Lee

If you have a need to watch cars go as fast as they can on a track this weekend, you are in luck with plenty of action on the track to fill that need. All three of NASCAR’s top series will be in action at the Dover International Speedway. We also get the Month of May underway on Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the IZOD IndyCar Series.

The weekend action at Dover gets underway on Friday with Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series practice, and the Lucas Oil 200 for the Camping World Truck Series. The trucks tend to beat and bang on the one mile high banked concrete track, so it might be an interesting race to checkout. The only problem with watching this race is that it is tape delayed to Friday night on Speed.

Saturday the Sprint Cup Series will hold qualifying sessions for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks race to be held on Sunday. The Nationwide Series will also conduct qualifying and the running of the 5-hour Energy 200 on Saturday.

The weekend at the Monster Mile wraps up on Sunday with the big boys of stock car racing going 400 miles to capture the Miles the Monster trophy.

Dover is a high speed track that can have a lot of action, but at the same time can feature long green runs. I have been to Dover a number of times for the spring race. Dover seems to suit Jimmie Johnson and the Rousch cars very well. Do not count Jeff Burton out of the mix as well. Burton seems to do well at this track.

All eyes, and much of the pre race hype, will be on Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. Questions are going to be asked if they got the message from NASCAR with the fines and probation. They will both be asked if they have spoken to one another and if Darlington has been put behind them. My guess is that we will get the cookie cutter answers that all things are good, and we will see where things go from there. As I said in my last article, I do not expect any fireworks from them for a period of time. When the right time comes along, one of them will give payback and the flames between them will be blazing once again.

We have seen tracks this year that have featured the large banner ads covering seats. By using these banners in the stands, it gives the viewer on TV the impression that the crowd at the track is larger. Look for more banners in the stands this week at Dover. Dover has done this for the past couple of seasons if memory serves me correctly.

My fantasy racing pick for this week at Dover is Jimmie Johnson. Johnson has had some struggles in the past couple of weeks, but I look for him to right the ship and make headway this week.

Be sure to keep one eye towards the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend as well. On track activities for the Indianapolis 500 actually started today with the Rookie Orientation Program. Rookies who have never raced at the track must complete a number of laps at increasing speeds in order to be allowed the opportunity to practice with the veterans and ultimately qualify for the race. These laps are beneficial to the teams, but the goal here is to just complete the rookie program in order to be able to attempt qualifying for the race.

On Saturday, veterans of the league will get their first opportunity to hit the track and shake the cars down. I would not expect that we will see blistering speeds in this session, but it will be a chance to establish a baseline to work from. Rookies, who have not completed orientation, will get another opportunity to pass the program on Saturday as well.

Starting Sunday, there is Indy 500 practice pretty much every day leading up to the qualifying days next Saturday and Sunday. Follow us on Twitter @troublinturntwo for speed updates and news as we move through the weekend and next week.

Hope everyone enjoys the weekend and all the on track action. I am not sure yet if I will have a recap of the truck race from Dover, but the Nationwide and Sprint Cup action will be on the site at the completion of the races. We will also have any additional Indy 500 news and notes as warranted.

Are you planning on attending Carb Day or the Indy 500 this year? Let us know if you are and what your expectations for the race weekend. Leave a comment, follow us on Twitter, or like our Facebook page, (and let us know which events you are attending) and we might just contact you on Indy 500 weekend to put a little Troubleinturntwo.com swag in your hands.

TV Schedule
Friday May 13, 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 200 8:30 PM Eastern on Speed
Saturday May 14, 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series 5-hour Energy 200 2:00 PM Eastern on ESPN
Sunday May 15, 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks 1:00 PM on Fox

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